Copyright of the artist%2C artist%27s estate%2C or assignees

Citwamo Ca Mangu (Throne), 20th century

expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

As in all cultures, African rulers often express their status by sitting on a special stool, chair, or throne that is an recognized mark of their rank and leadership. Chokwe thrones are modeled on European chairs that arrived in Africa from Spain and Portugal after trade was established in the late 1490s. While the basic form is European, Chokwe sculptors immediately changed its decoration, covering every available surface with themed ornamentation reinforcing the power, status and responsibilities of the local ruler. The central figure on the throne back represents a masked Cihongo dancer. Cihongo is associated with courtly wealth and might, and was danced solely by the chief or his son. The front legs are in the form of female figures, symbolizing the importance of women in supporting a matrilineal society. Tiny figures on the rungs and stretcher enact narrative scenes of community life, a sign of the ruler's concern for his people's well-being.

Details
Title
Citwamo Ca Mangu (Throne)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
87.65
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

In consideration of the health and safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff, Mia is temporarily closed to the public. Learn more here.

Copyright of the artist, artist's estate, or assignees